Parents of a differently-abled child in Palestine face community stigma along with their sense of loss, fear, confusion, and guilt that they were responsible for their child's condition. The trauma affects both the immediate and extended family. Unable to cope with the community rejection, some parents hide their child away, thereby depriving the youngster of essential assistance and education.
To support families struggling with the challenge of accepting their child with special needs and strengthen their ability to come out from the shadows, obtain essential help for their child and promote the inclusion of their youngster, and all differently-abled children within the community.
Identify the approximately 160 local families youngsters with special needs, then have peers invite these families to join our small groups. Our specialists answer questions about the participants' loved one, provide resources, educate and empower the parents to advocate for their children. The parents often brainstorm ways to care for their child and encourage each other in combating the psychological barriers that block them from involving their children openly in the community's life.
The increasing visibility of those with special needs, will mean the decrease of the power of the stigma. Through the groups, the families will find the tools and emotional resources to be advocates for their children-for increased acceptance, and accommodations, --a rarity in the area!-- such as handicapped access to schools, shops and places of worship. For these children, and those of all ages who struggle with physical challenges, this would be transformative!